My New Favorite ‘Barry Young’

Continuing the theme of  ’What’s In a Name’

I’ve written before* about a singular frustration I have- that my name is too common. Of all the possible names in the world, mine is like number 4,000. That may not seem like it puts me very high up one the list, but indeed it does. Out of seven or so billion people down here on earth, my name is so common that when i google myself, as is my shameful and abiding wont to do with alarming regularity, I am virtually unsearchable.

Me, looking particularly IRKED

Me, looking particularly IRKED

What I find particularly irksome is that a right-wing radio d.j. in Phoenix, Arizona, ‘The Nearly Famous Barry Young’ always comes up first in my name search. This is a guy who histrionically wondered on air, the day after the Virginia Tech Mass Shooting, “why did all those people just allow themselves to stand there and get shot?’ In other words, if we all had guns then we’d all be safer. Big yuck.


But there is hope for my namesakes!

I’m a big Photoshop user and every time I have launched the program, a list of its creators scrolls by. And on that list is one “Barry Young’.  Solipsistic me always assumed Adobe was inserting my username in the credits to tip their hat to an enthusiastic Photoshopper.


After I stopped drinking and trying to set records for quantity and frequency of hard drug usage, it finally dawned on me that I was not the center of the known universe- that it wasn’t all about me (this was a bitter pill to swallow, worse than chewing Oxycontin and washing it down with lukewarm Amstel Lite).

So… I got very discerning and searched “Barry Young Adobe” and lo! and behold! discovered this handsome fellow.

He is Barry Young from Edinburgh, Scotland  (one of my very favorite towns) and has been, for some time, working in the U.S. for Adobe. And doing very cool, important, really highly skilled product development.

Which begs the question: Why can’t HE be the most prominent BARRY YOUNG??? He’s brilliant. And talented. He brings cachet and legitimacy to my/our name.

Here is a post he wrote last year for Adobe.

And another, which gives a bit of his bio.

Wow. One of my namesakes is doing great stuff!

Karmically, practically, technologically this Barry Young really and significantly makes up for the toxic blather loosed upon us by the way-too “Nearly Famous Barry Young’ in Phoenix, Arizona. Photoshop is an extremely important application/tool in the world of graphic design, visual arts, mass communications.

Saluti, sir!!!

*… $5000 Minimum!

The Other Barry Youngs

Barry Young Is A Total Dick

A Shitload of ‘Barry Young’s


A Boy and His Laptop

Preface: The Way We Were


The “Boy”



In 1966, what did we- my family and I- have in the way of information technology?

Television, of course. Our ‘set’ at home (San Mateo, California, on the San Francisco Peninsula) was a 15″ Zenith B&W. We got five channels, KTVU (Independent), KRON (NBC), KCBS, KPIX (ABC) and KQED (PBS). Favorite shows? The Monkees, Ed Sullivan, The Fugitive, Shindig!, Hullabaloo and The Avengers. Preferred newscasts were Walter Cronkite and the Huntley-Brinkley Report. High points of TV Viewing, wherein I felt immediately connected to the rest of my country, watching major events LIVE, were JFK’s funeral, Jack Ruby’s shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald (saw that in VERY real time as I also did, years later The Challenger Disaster), and, of course, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. These were defining moments; and if you wanted to catch them as they happened, you had to stop whatever else you were doing, come home from work, stop cooking dinner, come in from playing outside and gather with friends and family around the cool fire of television. You must then sit “glued” to the screen; talking was discouraged, although older males were allowed to inject comments during programming. And the next day? Everyone talked about what was on TV the night before, at the ‘water cooler’, near the school lockers, on the job site.



BTW- the time I felt connected to the rest of the world by the medium of television was during the first global satellite transmission in June 1967- it was the Beatles performing “All You Need is Love”. I had been up on acid all night and the broadcast took place around three in the afternoon. Wow. Huge milestone, right?

Radio in 1966? Exclusively AM (Amplitude Modulation), and one listened to it primarily in the car- in my case cruising El Camino Real on weekend nights. This was the age of Top 40. You knew who was big, popular, important and that was about all you got from radio- the artists who had airplay. And in 1966, you noted the seasons by which Beatle song was number 1 on KYA or KEWB. FM radio’s ascendence was still a year away.

If you wanted to listen to your favorite music at home you bought LPs (albums) or 45s (singles with an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ side). 8 Track tapes were still in the future- not to mention cassettes and/or CDs.

Films you saw on the big screen (or on television, years after their release). I saw From Russia With Love and Mondo Cane at the Manor theater on 25th Ave. (long gone) and Sound of Music at the Bayshore Drive-In (ditto). I sorely miss those theaters.

And for print journalism- and here lies the really important and substantial difference between then and now- there were newspapers and magazines. If you didn’t save your newspapers and magazines, and you wanted to re-read an article from two months ago you had two choices: 1) go to the newspaper/magazine offices and go through their back issues or go to the library and find the article in the Periodical Guide to Literature. You would fill out the slip itemizing date, issue and volume of the article, it’s title, length and page numbers. You would submit this to the reference librarian who would then send someone to the basement ‘stacks’ of magazines and in twenty to thirty minutes the reference librarian would call your name. She would then tell you which of the articles she had been able to find. Usually less than half of what you wanted. You would then make photocopies of your finds and get to work quoting them in whatever paper, essay, assignment you were working on.

Why am I so focused on how we used to view/hear/read media and get our information? Because, I perceive myself primarily as the sum total of the knowledge, facts, data I have absorbed, acquired- the books I’ve read, the movies I’ve seen, the music I have listened. And until the latter days of the laptop, wi-fi and the internet, that literature and media was pretty slow in coming. Mind now, I’ve always loved reading and watching films but the process of obtaining books and periodical literature, of going to see movies was laborious and required effort and scheduling, a careful apportionment of one’s time.

NOT SO TODAY, thank the Lord and Silicon Valley.

Next A Boy And His Laptop, Part Two- Who I have Become and What I Will Do Today.